Cooking experiments

So, a while back, I wrote that I was considering going (mostly) gluten free. Biggest reason being that it would make cooking for Nick a lot easier and I wouldn't have to make two different meals sometimes. Another reason being the health benefits some of my non-gluten sensitive friends have reported since starting the diet. One of the biggest hang ups for me was baking. I love baking and had not had the best luck with the gluten free flours for simple things like pancakes and waffles. So I hadn't even tried the more complex recipes I have and was afraid that it wouldn't work at all. But one of the suggestions I got was to use some Xantham Gum in the recipes, with most of the websites and such all saying that it was a necessary ingredient for successful baking.

After wincing at the price - I did get some at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. And it has made difference in the simple recipes - the pancakes and waffles are fluffy and moist now. Before, they were really dry and thin and Nick wanted to drown them in maple syrup. Last weekend, I got the courage up and decided to try making one of my cornbread recipes, one of the fancier breads with pumpkin and such. Nick took one look at it while I was mixing the eggs in and said it looked disgusting. That was not the case when I pulled the bread from the oven. Perfectly done, with a light golden tone to the crust, moist and crumbly inside. He took a small slice, then a larger one and said it was really good. So, success! The one thing I have noticed with the gluten free flours is I have to be very careful about mixing. They tend to clump more then wheat based flour and need more even mixing for longer. But so far so good.

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